Sean Panikkar continues “to position himself as one of the stars of his generation… His voice is unassailable—firm, sturdy and clear, and he employs it with maximum dramatic versatility” (Opera News).

The American tenor of Sri Lankan heritage made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Manon Lescaut (commercially available on DVD on EMI), and his European operatic debut in Mozart’s Zaïde at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in a production directed by Peter Sellars and conducted by Louis Langrée (commercially available on DVD on Opus Arte).

Sean Panikkar made his Salzburg Festival debut this past summer as Dionysus in a new production of Henze’s The Bassarids; the title also served the tenor his Madrid debut in concert performances with the Spanish National Orchestra and Choir, both presentations under the baton of Kent Nagano. Highlights of the 2018/19 season include his LA Opera debut as Gandhi in Satyagraha, and a return to the Festival d’Aix en Provence as Jakob Schmidt and Toby in Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. Core repertoire presentations include performances of La Bohème at Pittsburgh Opera, Carmen with North Carolina Opera, and The Pearl Fishers at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. On the concert stage, the tenor is heard in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Seattle Symphony and Las Vegas Philharmonic.

Highly prized as an interpreter of contemporary music on leading international stages, Sean Panikkar created the roles of Adam in Giorgio Battistelli’s CO2 for a debut at Teatro alla Scala in a world premiere conducted by Cornelius Meister and directed by Robert Carsen, Wendell Smith in Daniel Sonenberg and Mark Campbell’s The Summer King in a co-production between Pittsburgh Opera and Michigan Opera Theatre, Agent Henry Rathbone in a co-production of David T. Little’s JFK at the Fort Worth Opera and Opéra de Montréal, and he garnered passionate acclaim in the title role of Jack Perla’s Shalimar the Clown for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Numerous engagements with the Metropolitan Opera feature the company premiere of The Death of Klinghoffer, a new production of Guillaume Tell led by Gianandrea Noseda, Roméo et Juliette under the baton of Plácido Domingo, Lucia di Lammermoor conducted by Marco Armiliato, and Ariadne auf Naxos led by Kirill Petrenko. 

Highlights of past seasons also include a new production of Nabucco at Washington National Opera, La Bohème staged by Francesca Zambello at the Royal Albert Hall in London, at Cincinnati Opera conducted by Louis Langrée, and at Michigan Opera Theatre, Carmen with Madison Opera conducted by John DeMain, Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick at Pittsburgh Opera, and Silent Night at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. He has appeared in Salome at Washington National Opera in the company’s new Francesca Zambello production and at the Saito Kinen Festival in performances conducted by Omer Meir Wellber, made a debut at the Santa Fe Opera in a new production of Menotti’s rarely produced The Last Savage directed by Ned Canty and conducted by George Manahan, bowed as Tamino in The Magic Flute at Pittsburgh Opera and the Glimmerglass Festival, and has been praised for what has come to be one of his signature parts, Nadir in The Pearl Fishes for Fort Worth Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and Opera Colorado. (